Anticipation…

While I already have more books than I’ll get to read this year, I’m always waiting for new works by my favorite authors.  Here are three releases which are on the horizon.

Freedom by Jonathan Franzen

I set out to read The Corrections one summer while I was in college.  It was a hefty, dense book.  It frustrated me to no end but, by the time I finished, I had really grown to appreciate what an amazing writer Franzen is.  Since then, I’ve read everything else he’s written.  His book of essays, How to be Alone contains some of the best long-form non-fiction essays I’ve read.  As good as his non-fiction is, I’m really looking forward to his first novel in nine years.   An excerpt was printed in the New Yorker last year which can be found here.  According to Amazon, the Freedom is slated for release at the end of August.

Full Dark, No Stars by Stephen King

I am an unabashed and devoted reader of Stephen King.  There, I’ve said it.  To all the people who say he’s a hack writer of pulp trash, I say there are few people out there who can tell a better story and conjure up better characters.  I’ve read everything he’s written so far and, luckily for me, he’s incredibly prolific.  His new collection of novellas looks reminiscent of 1982’s Different Seasons which included the wonderful stories Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption as well as The Body.  Full Dark, No Stars isn’t due out until November, so I’ll have to make do with his new baseball novella, Blockade Billy, until then.

1Q84 by Haruki Murakami

This one is so far off on the horizon it may as well be a mirage.  Still, I thought I’d include it as it’s likely to remain on top of my personal list of anticipated books until an English translation is released (sometime in autumn, 2011).  I’ve read all of Murakami’s English translations, save Dance, Dance, Dance. The only reason I haven’t read that one is because I am dreading the empty feeling I’m sure to experience when I realize that I’ll have no new Murakami’s to read once I’m finished.  The Japanese version of 1Q84 is a whopper – 1600 pages in three installments which I hope won’t be whittled down in translation.

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5 comments

  1. Hello!

    You know, I’ve stopped and started The Corrections at least four times, I just can’t get into it. But I, like you, really enjoy How to Be Alone. Should I give it another chance?

    And, totally catty here, but I heard he and Oprah had a blowout about the book. Do you know what happened there?

    1. Hi Amy, I definitely think you should try to give The Corrections another go. It’s a hard read, but in the end it’s worth the effort. It’s been years since I’ve read it but it’s on my list of books to reread.
      As for the whole Franzen/Oprah spat, it was back in 2001 after the release of The Corrections. Oprah had picked that book as her reading club selection and even filmed segments with Franzen. He became a little frustrated with the process, made some rather ill-conceived comments, and then had his invitation rescinded. I can see Franzen being quite an arrogant person, as many brilliant people often are. The way he writes about it makes it seem as if he just wasn’t up to the task of being an Oprah-author. But, his comments had to do with not selling out for a stamp-of-approval by someone he considered to be a low-brow cultural icon. Honestly, it was a bit of a tempest in a teapot that only became noticed because it happened to involve Oprah. In How to be Alone, the essay entitled “Meet Me in St. Louis” is his account of what happened. Thanks for the comment!

  2. Totally with you on the Murakami, have not long finished “What I talk about, when I talk about running” so am waiting with the desperate dregs of patience for the new one, have not read Jonathan
    Franzen ,which gives me something to search out. My confession is i’ve read most of Dean Koontz work & enjoyed in fact my site name comes from a character in one of his books,there I feel better for that

    1. I have read quite a bit of Dean Koontz as well. I look at his books much in the same way I look at Dan Brown’s. Fluffy, engaging, addicting but without much substance. I honestly believe that Stephen King deserves a place among more ‘literary’ writers. I use quotations for that because I think it’s a pretty slippery term. Still, sometimes you want junk food and Dean Koontz delivers a good fix.
      Definitely search out The Corrections. Also, get a copy of How to be Alone. There are some wonderful essays on reading and writing which I read when I’m feeling a bit discouraged by whatever book I happen to be working through at the time.

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